What makes you anxious? A first date? A job interview?
Going to the dentist?
If you answered yes to the first two, you probably still managed to go. If you answered yes to the third, your fear of the dentist could be keeping you from getting proper oral care.
Across the United States, one-third of Americans have some kind of dental anxiety, according to Dr. Peter Milgrom of the Dental Fears Research Clinic. One in five Americans only go to the dentist when they have no other option, and an estimated 5 to 8 percent of Americans avoid the dentist completely due to their dental fear.
Being anxious is OK. Everyone gets anxious about something.
If your fear is stopping you from getting proper dental care, please give us a call. At Nashua Family Dentistry, we help our patients in Southern New Hampshire feel comfortable one step at a time.
Understanding your fear
If you have a few minutes, take some time to watch this video about dental anxiety by the American Dental Association.
You’ll find some tips that may help you cope with your fear of the dentist.
The first thing the ADA recommends is telling your dentist or hygienist about your fears. If we know about your concerns, we can take steps to address them.
Also, try to schedule your appointment at a time when you won’t feel rushed. That way if you need a little extra time to prepare yourself emotionally, you won’t feel pressured to do anything until you are ready.
Bring some music with you. If the sounds of dentistry bother you, this can help you drown them out.
One of our goals is for our patients to feel calm and relaxed throughout their visit. That’s one of the reasons we provide a variety of comfort options.
We can schedule longer appointments so you can receive your treatment in stages and at a pace that works for you.
We provide pillows and blankets to help you feel a little cozier while you are in the dentist’s chair.
We have headphones or you are welcome to bring your own to play music. This can give you something else to focus on while you are having your cleaning done.
And we are always open to suggestions. If you know something that will help you feel more relaxed, please let us know. We will try to work it out if it means you can receive proper, professional care.
You also may benefit from doing some research about dental anxiety and fear of the dentist.
Dental Fear Central is a website with a lot of information that may be helpful. You can learn about common fears — such as the drill, needles, choking, and embarrassment about your teeth — and some strategies to cope with those fears.
You will also find links to additional resources and a forum where you can interact with other people with dental fears. This can help you see that you are not alone, and there are people who want to help you.
We also know that some patients need more than some music and a pillow to help them relax. That’s why we offer oral conscious sedation as well.
At Nashua Family Dentistry, oral conscious sedation is a way for any patient to relax during their visit.
If you choose sedation, be aware that you will need to have someone else drive you to and from our office. The medication is effective, but it does take some time to wear off.
You will take the medication before your visit. When it takes effect, you will feel groggy or sleepy. You may have some awareness of what is happening, or you may not remember any of your treatment. Either way, you will feel relaxed and calm.
After your procedure, someone else will need to take you home, and we would recommend that you rest until the medication wears off.
We also use oral sedation for patients who need longer, more complicated treatments. Sedation allows you to relax without experiencing any pain.
One step at a time
Overcoming your fear of the dentist is not something you should expect to happen overnight or on one visit. We know that sometimes just calling the office or getting out of your car can be a big step.
Before your schedule an appointment, we welcome you to come by our office at 25 Riverside Street #201 in Nashua. Stop in to say hello and meet our staff.
When you are ready, give us a call at 603-546-7460 or fill out our online form. We’re here to help you one step at a time.